27 Best Things To Do In Noumea, New Caledonia - Updated 2024

| 11 min read

Noumea, the capital and largest city of New Caledonia is home to a melting pot of cultures, cuisines and landscapes. The city faces the ocean and provides spectacular views from every corner. With abundant levels of island culture to keep you in a blissful holiday spirit, Noumea is also the best place to experience the unique blend of European, Polynesian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cultures that offer visitors warm welcomes and enjoyable stays. Book an Airbnb vacation rental in Noumea now and go sightseeing. Visit the city’s beaches, get active with a multitude of cycling, kayaking and walking opportunities and soak in the sights of this unique city. Read on to find our list of recommended activities and the best things to do in Noumea, New Caledonia.

1. Explore Noumea with The French Touch tour (from USD 298.0)

Probably one of the best ways to explore the city is by taking this roundabout tour of the most famous things to do in Noumea, New Caledonia. The French Touch Tour picks you up in an air-conditioned vehicle at 8:30 am and takes you to Noumea Morning Market, the first stop. Discover the local fruits here and move on to the Tonton Jules Chocolate Shop and savour syrupy pancakes for breakfast.

Soak in the serene views at the Hill Ouen Toro before moving on to Tjibaou Cultural Center. Take a stroll along the shores of Kuendu Beach and eat a delicious meal for lunch at Restaurant La Marmite et Tire-Bouchon. End the refreshing and fun tour by relaxing and unwinding at the Zoological and Forest Park by viewing the wildlife.

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The "French Touch" Tour

Duration: 7 hours

6 reviews

2. Go sightseeing on the local Green Train (from USD 10.0)

Sightseeing is the most popular thing to do in Noumea, but not everyone visits the place on vacation. If you find yourself on a cruise to the island of New Caledonia and have limited time to see all the beautiful sights, opt for a tour on this local green train.

The Local Green Train Sightseeing Tour offers several timeslots and picks you up at the Cruise Ship Terminal. Visit Anse Vata Beach first and take in the tranquil view of the ocean. Move on to Ouen Toro Hill and enjoy a vantage view of the lagoon and the bay. See the guns used in World War II that are displayed on this hill and soak in the beauty of the panoramic mountain chain at the centre of the island.

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Noumea Green Train Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

180 reviews

3. Go swimming with turtles at Noumea Turtle Tour (from USD 554.0)

Treat yourself to a private experience with the turtles of Noumea when you embark on this turtle tour. Head to Signal Island to go snorkelling and experience the magic of being underwater while discovering a new marine world. From beautiful corals to schools of fish and of-course the friendly turtles, this snorkelling experience is sure to be an unforgettable one. The tour leaves from the cruise terminal and takes you to Signal Island via a water taxi service, a great and convenient way to spend your transit in Noumea.

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Private Noumea Turtle Tour

Duration: 4 hours

7 reviews

4. Hike for magical sunsets at Canons du Ouen Toro

Ideal at sunset and twilight hours, a hike up to the top of Canons du Ouen Toro provide beautiful views and a reward for working those legs on your holiday. You can choose from a variety of trails and the hike up should take approximately two to three hours, making for an ideal afternoon activity to reach the summit in time for a spectacular sunset that overlooks a lagoon. Take in a piece of history as you examine the two Australian cannons left behind from World War II and visit the sites where Australian troops were stationed during that time period.

Canons du Ouen Toro

Website: Canons du Ouen Toro

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5. Inundate yourself at the Tjibaou Cultural Center

Tjibaou Cultural Center
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Stanley used under CC BY 2.0

The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre is named after the New Caledonian political leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou who was assassinated in 1989. An ode to the Kanak culture, the indigenous culture of New Caledonia, the Cultural Center is a source of education, lessons and a diary of the cultural heritage of the Kanak people. The Cultural Center was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and the building is an iconic one, photographed widely for its conical domes. The Center is a must-visit during your trip to Noumea.

Tjibaou Cultural Center

Address: Max Frouin, Noumea, New Caledonia

Website: Tjibaou Cultural Center

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

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6. Know the history at Musee de la Ville de Noumea

Discover the intricacies of New Caledonian history in a beautiful colonial-style building when you visit Musee de la Ville de Noumea, a popular tourist attraction of this city in New Caledonia. Use the audio guide and be immersed through the exhibitions; New Caledonia during World War I and the impressions of Australian soldiers in France during the same period. The museum aims to tell the story of Noumea and New Caledonia under French rule and the exhibits are in both English and French so that its reach is wide-ranging. With interactive exhibits that keep even the children entertained, Musee de la Ville de Noumea is a beautiful stop on your visit to Noumea.

Musee de la Ville de Noumea

Address: 39 Rue Jean Jaures, Noumea, New Caledonia

Website: Musee de la Ville de Noumea

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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7. Swing by the Nouméa Cathedral

The Nouméa Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that is dedicated to Saint Joseph and draws visitors from all religions. Opened in 1887, the cathedral has a Latin cross ground plan with two towers which were built with dressed stone and embellished with woodwork in red kauri wood. Located in the heart of the city, Sunday masses are held at 3pm (anticipated on Saturday), 6am, 9am and 6:30pm.

Nouméa Cathedral

Address: 3 Rue Frederick Surleau, Noumea, New Caledonia

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8. Swim at Lemon Bay Beach

Lemon Bay Noumea New Caledonia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Delilah Hart used under CC BY 2.0

A public beach in Nouméa city is Lemon Bay, an ideal, scenic location for swimming in the beautiful sea, lounging on the fine sand beaches and having a picnic between the swims so that you never go hungry on your day in the sun. Find a shady spot or bask in the sunshine as you spend a day of rest and relaxation on Lemon Bay beach. There are freshwater showers and several restaurants and bars across the road which makes the “Baie des Citrons” a great place to visit in the city.

Lemon Bay

Address:1 Promenade Roger Laroque, Nouméa, New Caledonia

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9. Uncover interesting facts at Maritime Museum of New Caledonia

Posted by Musée maritime de Nouvelle-Calédonie on Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Maritime Museum of New Caledonia is located in a former maritime terminal and explores the nautical history of New Caledonia and its relationship to the oceans as a connector to the world. Established in 1994 and renovated in 2013, the museum has family-friendly exhibits, guided tours and interactive sessions that allow you to learn about New Caledonia and its heritage as part of the Pacific Ocean. From historical anecdotes of wrecked sea ships, insight into the yachtsman who discovered New Caledonia and a variety of objects from ships in the 1700s, the museum is a great place to visit and learn about New Caledonia’s maritime history.

Maritime Museum of New Caledonia

Address: 11 avenue James Cook, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: Maritime Museum of New Caledonia

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 5 USD

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10. Have a morning browse at City Market

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Balou46 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Shop like a local and explore the Noumea City Market for a variety of local fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. The maze of the market leads you to pastries and local snacks, brightly coloured flowers and craft stalls. The city market is the best place to source local seafood, including lobsters, prawns and popinées all freshly sourced from the surrounding waters. The market stocks local handicrafts including jewellery, wooden statuettes and various decorative items that make for ideal gifts for your friends and family back home.

Noumea City Market

Address: 51 Rue Georges Clemenceau, Noumea, New Caledonia

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 5am - 11am (closed on Mon)

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11. Get your sugar fix at Morand Chocolates

Devinez qui fait son apparition ce week-end?? LE MILLEFEUILLE!!classique ou avec des framboises, ce dessert saura vous émerveiller. En 4 et 6 parts ou en portion individuelle.

Posted by Chocolats Morand - Nouméa on Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Delicious handmade chocolates, sweets and desserts can be found at Morand Chocolates in Nouméa’s town centre. From cream cakes and macaroons to delicate chocolates, Morand Chocolates is sure to keep your sweet tooth satisfied during your holiday in Nouméa. The shop even offers takeaway packages for those who want to head back to their cruise ships. The latter can always carry a batch to go with them.

Morand Chocolates

Address: 13 Rue Eugene Porcheron, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: Morand Chocolates

Opening hours: Mon: 1pm - 6:30pm; Tue - Fri: 7:30am - 6:30pm; Sat: 8am - 12:30pm, 3:30pm - 6:30pm (closed on Sun)

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12. Dive into the deep blue seas with Iatok Diving Paradise

Posted by Iatok Diving Paradise on Monday, 14 October 2019

Start your day exploring the dive sites between the Amédée lighthouse and the Dumbéa pass of Nouméa with sites available to explore between 6 metres (19 feet) and 60 metres (196 feet). Iatok Diving Paradise makes two dive trips each morning and provides snacks on the boat during breaks, making it an ideal way to spend your morning. Divers can give their input into the choice of dive sites and which wrecks they want to explore. Expect to see schools of fish, sharks and beautiful marine life unique to New Caledonia’s waters.

Iatok Diving Paradise

Address: Port Moselle-Ponton F, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: Iatok Diving Paradise

Opening hours: 6:30am - 7:30am, 12pm - 1pm (daily)

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13. Immerse yourself in the tropical paradise of Phare Amédée

Nouméa Phare Amédée
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Use this local tour operator to visit Amédée Islands on a day trip. This island’s idyllic white sandy beaches are ideal for spending a day lounging and relaxing amidst the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Take a glass-bottom boat trip to check out the happenings underwater or rent snorkelling equipment to get up close with marine life. For more cultural intakes during your day, watch the famous island dance show or get interactive as you learn the different ways of tying a sarong. Enjoy a buffet lunch that comes with complimentary red or white wine and be in complete ease with hotel pick up and drop-offs with the tour.

Mary D Agency - Phare Amédée

Address: 127 Promenade Roger Laroque, Noumea 98800, New Caledonia

Website: Mary D Agency - Phare Amédée

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14. Attend a community event at Hagen Castle

Château Hagen was built as a private estate in 1858 and is a prominent cultural and heritage building in Noumea today. The building plays host to a variety of events and shows, including concerts, dance, theatre, workshops visual arts and artist residencies. In addition, the exhibit inside the building pays tribute to the heritage and roots of the city of Noumea, detailing its history under colonial French rule. Be sure to check out the latest events at Château Hagen on your visit to Noumea.

Hagen Castle

Address: Rue du R P Roman, Noumea, Grand Terre 98800, New Caledonia

Website: Hagen Castle

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

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15. Explore Kanak history at Musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Torbenbrinker used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A museum filled with artefacts of the Kanak culture and people, from the bowls to doors and the currency they used. An ideal way to spend a rainy tropical day, the Musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie is housed in a historic colonial building and is a great way to support community efforts to keep the Kanak cultural history on record. The museum is currently undergoing reconstruction and will be completely renovated on completion.

Musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie

Address: 43 Avenue du Maréchal Foch, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: Musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9am - 11:30am, 12:15pm - 4:30pm (closed on Tue)

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16. Play games at Grand Casino

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

NOUVEAU ! Servi en assiette avec frites au Jackpot Café le Club Sandwich à 1250 F ? #grandcasinonoumea #clubsandwiches

Posted by Grand Casino Nouméa on Monday, April 5, 2021

A quiet casino may seem like an oxymoron to you, but you will find one on the island city of Noumea. You will find poker tables, roulette tables and more at Grand Casino. A good idea for a group of friends looking for some entertainment after dark, visit this charming old Casino for some games, drinks and a reasonably priced dinner. Slot machines and table games have slightly different times of operation, so be sure to check out their website for details.

Grand Casino

Address: 5 Promenade Pierre Vernier, Noumea, Grand Terre 98800, New Caledonia

Website: Grand Casino

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 2am; Fri - Sat: 11am - 4am

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17. Spend a rainy day at La Maison Celieres

La Maison Celieres (House Celebrities) is another historic landmark building in Nouméa. Walk through its well-landscaped gardens and take a look at the small museum inside. It will transport you back to Nouméa in the early 20th Century. Walk through the colonial architecture of the house and discover the faces and stories behind the history of the town.

La Maison Celieres

Address: Route du Port Despointes, 21, Noumea, Grand Terre 98800, New Caledonia

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 1pm - 4:30pm; Fri: 1pm - 3:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 2 USD

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18. Go people watching at Coconut Palm Square

things to do in noumea new caledonia | go people watching at coconut palm square
Source: instagram

Coconut Palm Square is located in the heart of the city provided a sprinkling of greenery in the busy town. Surrounded by retail shops and restaurants, Coconut Square is a great place to people watch, or get involved with the busy area. Coconut Place consists of Feillet Square, Courbet square, La Marne square and Olry square. Expect events and seasonal promotions that take place at Coconut Palm Square, including garage sales, book signings, concerts,Easter egg hunt and it is also the location of the Noumea Christmas tree.

Coconut Palm Square

Address: Place des Cocotiers, Centre Ville, Noumea

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19. Get active with New Caledonia Outdoors

Posted by New Cal Outdoors on Wednesday, 2 May 2018

New Caledonia Outdoors is an outdoor activity organiser that can provide a variety of options to keep you active and your adrenaline levels rushing during your visit to Nouméa. Choose from equestrian adventures, playing at a golf course, taking an ATV outing or just relaxing on a catamaran cruise, all providing great ways to get to know the city and discover the beautiful surrounding landscapes.

New Caledonia Outdoors

Address: 77 rue des camélias, PK6 nouméa NC 98804, Rue des Camèlias, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: New Caledonia Outdoors

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20. Indulge in a tasty meal at Au P'tit Café

The Au P'tit Cafe serves up delicious cuisine, and is frequented by locals and tourists alike and has a variety of flavours on the menu, all made using local ingredients. Using seasonal ingredients to produce French cuisine by adding their own unique spin on dishes, a meal at Au P'tit Cafe is one not to miss during a visit to Noumea. Families and groups of friends alike will find that diverse tastes are catered to, from tuna, veal, sashimi and steak, all outstanding preparations to try.

Au P'tit Café

Address: 8 Avenue des frères Carcopino, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Website: Au P'tit Café

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11:30am - 1:30pm, 7pm - 9:30pm (closed from Sat - Mon)

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21. Let loose at Sports Bar Rendez-Vous

Posted by Sports Bar on Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Serving up traditional pub food in a casual, inviting atmosphere, the Rendez-Vous Sports Bar is part of the Ramada Hotel in Nouméa and provides full bar service and is a great place to catch any of the rugby games. The pub provides outdoor seating options for those who want to enjoy the warm breeze and weather. Sit indoors to experience the high energy of the sports that are constantly telecasted at the bar.

Sports Bar Rendez-Vous

Address: 7 rue Louis Bleriot, Nouméa 98800, New Caledonia

Website: Sports Bar Rendez-Vous

Opening hours: 6:30am - 10:30pm (daily)

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22. Ride the Anse Vata Tchou Tchou Train (from USD 27.0)

Equip yourself with a driver and a local guide on this train tour of Noumea. Visit the highlights of this historic city in New Caledonia and its landmarks, including Promenade Pierre Vernier, Anse Vata Bay, and Notre Dame Du Pacifique lookout point. The Anse Vata Tchou Tchou Train is an open-air carriage that allows you to take in the breezy warm weather of Noumea and the tropical feel of the city. Engage with our local tour guide to give you insights into the city’s culture and history, with both English and French guides available for your ease and convenience.

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Anse Vata Tchou Tchou Train

Duration: 2 hours

59 reviews

23. Choose a botanical or cultural tour of Nouméa (from USD 84.0)

Spend your day getting to know the city of Nouméa and choose between a tour of a cultural overview or of the botanical nuances of the city. The botanical side of the tour explores the key inland sites that are unique to New Caledonia and are scattered across the island including the, each with its own significance and importance. The cultural aspect of the tour explores more traditional landmarks and brings to light the history of this Pacific island and how history has affected its modern culture. The tour offers transport to and from your Nouméa accommodation.

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Half-Day Cultural or Botanical New Caledonia Tour from Nouméa

Duration: 3 hours

7 reviews

24. Go bird-watching at Michel Corbasson Zoological Et Forest Park (from USD 89.0)

go bird-watching at michel corbasson zoological et forest park
Source: www.viator.com

New Caledonia is a nature lovers paradise, home to unique bird species and rare wildlife and this tour offers a great viewing and educational experience for those interested in learning about the indigenous bird and animal populations of the island. The flightless Kagu, flying fox, imperial pigeon, parakeets and black swans are just some of the birds you might be able to spot during your tour. We recommend staying for the full half day in order to improve your chances of experiencing all of New Caledonia’s wildlife in its full glory.

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Half-Day Bird and Wildlife Watching Tour from Noumea

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

2 reviews

25. Explore marine life at Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie (from USD 27.0)

Tour Noumea’s aquarium and experience first hand the intricacies of New Caledonia’s marine life. See the beautiful coral reefs that embellish the ocean floor and the variety of life that live in the seas. Look out for the tropical fish and the outdoor turtle pond that are highlights for the whole family. Providing entertainment for adults and children, the aquarium is a must-visit and the tour has no strict time restrictions for those visiting.

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Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

1 review

26. Experience nature at Zoo Forestier Michel Corbasson (from USD 21.0)

Visit Noumea’s botanical park and zoo and experience the fauna and flora that are native to New Caledonia. From the giant geckos to flying foxes and the well known and protected Cagou, these unique wildlife are only found in New Caledonia. The zoo and botanical park provide a great way to experience these creatures first hand. Ideal for a day out with the family, this tour allows you to roam the area in your own time and pace.

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Botanical Parc and Zoo

Duration: 1 to 3 hours

27. Go beach hopping on electric minimokets (from USD 133.0)

The 100 percent electric minimokets are the best way to beach hop, ideal for exploring Noumea’s sandy shores in your own terms, times and schedules. The tour company will deliver the electric minimokets directly to your hotel and pick them up from you after your day exploring for the day. Use your GPS to navigate yourself through the tropical islands, breezing through the crowds and stop when and where you want, for a quick dip in the seas, snorkelling adventures or just for a lunch break. These electric minimokets are your best form of transport in Noumea.

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Noumea Beach Car

Duration: 1 to 8 hours

21 reviews

Visit the city of culture and beauty

The unique Pacific identity and geographical position of New Caledonia’s capital city exude beauty and diversity. From the bays and beaches that work well for lounging or outdoor activities to the heritage buildings and landmarks that provide a wealth of knowledge and information, Nouméa is an ocean-side city that should not be missed. Read our recommendations for what to do during your next visit to Nouméa, New Caledonia.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Noumea, New Caledonia

  • What are the best places for shopping in Noumea?

    Noumea City Market is the best place to shop in Noumea. The morning market has the freshest local fruits and vegetables you can find. Navigate through the street maze to find the florist and buy native flowers, and visit local crafts shops to stock up on souvenirs.

  • Which adventurous activities can tourists enjoy in Noumea?

    Diving into the deep blue seas with Iatok Diving Paradise and getting active with New Caledonia Outdoors, which organises things like a catamaran cruise, ATV outing, and equestrian adventures, are some adventurous activities tourists can enjoy in Noumea.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Divya comes from an academic background having studied economics and public policy and worked in research and writing roles for the past 8 years. Divya's off-duty passion for travel has led her to...Read more

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